As professionalism, ethics, and personal development is one of the components of the 8 learning outcome domains of International Medical University (IMU), an interesting intercampus debate about bioethics between Batu Pahat Clinical Campus and Kluang Clinical Campus is organised biannually by the final semester medical students to facilitate discussions regarding ethical issues in an interactive way. This time of the year, the long-awaited debate was organised by the medical students of IMU Kluang Clinical Campus, putting the focus on the theme – Environmental health protection and sustainable development, in accordance with the bioethics core curriculum by the UNESCO. We engaged in the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, Article 17- Protection of the environment, the biosphere and biodiversity. The event was carried out on 14 November 2016 in the main auditorium of Hospital Enche Besar Hajjah Khalsom (Hospital HEBHK), Kluang, under the guidance of advisor Prof Dato’ Dr Sivalingam Nalliah and Chairperson, Dr Hussein Akl. The event commenced at 9 am with an opening speech by Dr Hajjah Azura Bt Abu Bakar, the deputy director of Hospital HEBHK, who expressed her welcome and encouragement about this event being organised annually at the hospital, and she acknowledged the effort of the students who organised the event.
It was followed by the first debate titled “Genome editing and designer babies should be controlled to avoid its negative impact on future generations”. The government defending the motion consist of Helen Ting Siew Yean, Tan Shi Hun, and Pooja Roy from Kluang clinical campus. The opposition consists of Phan Nop A/L So Phon, Sim Ee Leng, and Amanda Phuah Cheng Li from Batu Pahat Clinical Campus. It took a short time for the debate to escalate into an impressive exchange of points supported with facts. The well-fought battle was followed by feedback from the judges, A/Prof Ramji Narayanan and A/Prof Velayudhan Menon, which saw Kluang clinical campus representing the government team emerging as the eventual winners.
After the first debate, Zuhari Bin Said from the Johor Department of Environment gave a humorous talk on Environmental Quality Act 1974, which highlighted the importance of law, authorities, as well as public in protecting our mother nature. In addition to that, a booth supplemented with leaflets and educational displays was set up at the venue to raise awareness about environmental conservation in Malaysia.
Then, the second debate titled “Climate change and global warming are primarily due to human intervention” commenced. Representing the government from Batu Pahat Clinical Campus, Annette Hove, Fathima Amanah Salih, and Owayne Khoo Boo Chov, supported the motion. The opposition team consist of Levinnya Devi A/P Arumugam, Ian Ch’ng Xiang Yuan, and Aaron Yee Onn Keet from Kluang Clinical Campus were against the motion. It was a witty and intense contest which left the audience thoroughly engaged. The judges, Dr Vijarayaghaven Ramanathan and A/Prof Dato Dr Kuan Geok Lan, then gave their feedback and announced the winner as Kluang clinical campus.
After the feedback session, members of the audience were not left out of the fun as they actively engaged in an interactive multiplayer classroom quizzes generated with Kahoot©, which assessed their general knowledge in relation to our theme in an interesting approach, using their mobile devices.
The two eventual winners of the quiz together with all the debaters were eventually awarded with prizes prepared by the clinical campus. The closing speech was given by advisor Prof Dato Dr Sivalingham Nalliah as he congratulated the debaters for the well-prepared debate and the bright potential he saw from the debaters as future politicians. He congratulated the organising committee for another successful event and he is delighted to be part of it.
Written by: Ian Ch’ng Xiang Yuan, IMU Medical Ethics and Environment Debate Student Coordinator